Astrophysics (Index)About


(field with two poles)

The word dipole refers to two poles and is used to describe electric fields and magnetic fields that are organized around two locations of opposite polarity. I contrast, multipole has more. For example, a planet's magnetic field can be basically a dipole overall, yet in detail be multipole if there are spots on the surface where one or the other polarity is strong.

The word dipole has other related uses, such as to describe antennas (dipole antenna), and in mathematics as a subclass of coefficients of a multipole expansion.

Further reading:

Referenced by pages:
CMB anisotropies
crustal magnetism
Dominion Observatory 10.03 MHz Source Catalog (DB)
electric dipole radiation
giant planet
magnetic dipole braking
magnetic dipole radiation
magnetic field
MSH Catalog (MSH)
multipole expansion
spinning dust emission
Stark effect